Sports

Winning streak keeps Spartans close to top

Guard Jimmy Baggett moves the ball past an O’Dea defender during Bainbridge High’s 58-49 win over Metro League rival O’Dea last Saturday in the BHS gym. Baggett scored three points for the Spartans, who have now won six straight games.  - Jim Bryant Photo
Guard Jimmy Baggett moves the ball past an O’Dea defender during Bainbridge High’s 58-49 win over Metro League rival O’Dea last Saturday in the BHS gym. Baggett scored three points for the Spartans, who have now won six straight games.
— image credit: Jim Bryant Photo

The BHS boys basketball team erupted for 21 third quarter points against Lakeside on Tuesday after a 21-21 halftime tie and cruised to a 61-45 victory at the Lions’ gym. The win moved the streaking Spartans within a half game of Rainier Beach in the Metro League Sound Division.

The Spartans also maintained their lead over Chief Sealth in the race for the best Metro runnerup record and subsequent berth in the league’s top tournament bracket next month.

Paul Weese scored a career-high 20 points, while Ben Eisenhardt added 17 and Ryan Burris 12.

The team (9-4 overall, 7-2 Metro) ran its overall winning streak to six games the following night against visiting Klahowya with a 56-51 victory in a non-league game. Weese continued his hot hand with 18 points, Eisenhardt had 16 and Will DiIorio 10.

The Spartans have a rare six-day midseason break before hosting undefeated Franklin, the state’s top-ranked 3A team, on Tuesday.

The team played perhaps its best first quarter of the season on Saturday en route to a 58-49 decision over O’Dea. Buoyed by a large home crowd, the Spartans tore out to a 10-0 lead in the first five minutes and ended the quarter with a 19-8 edge on eight of 11 shooting.

They cooled off considerably in the second quarter, scoring just four points as they had just a single field goal in nine attempts. An O’Dea buzzer-beating jumper narrowed the halftime margin to 23-18.

With the Spartans ahead 27-19 midway through the third quarter, Will DiIorio took over the game. The Spartan junior scored on a three-point play, drained a pair of treys and converted another three-point play with eight seconds remaining. He also dished off to Weese for a short jumper as the quarter ended with the Spartans in control of the game, 43-27.

O’Dea slowly chipped away and closed to within nine with two minutes remaining. The Spartans went into a delay game and O’Dea failed to foul until 20 seconds remained. By then it was too late.

DiIorio had four rebounds and three assists to go with his game-high 16 points. Burris had 14, Eisenhardt a dozen and 10 boards, while Jimmy Baggett scored a season-high nine.

In their 43-31 victory over visiting Nathan Hale the previous night, the Spartans were even more dominant to begin the game. Bainbridge outscored the Raiders 21-2 as it shot eight for 11 from the field. As would be the case the following evening, the Spartans went cold in the following quarter, scoring just six points on three field goals in 16 attempts. But Hale was no better, hitting on 2 of 11 attempts after going 1 for 10 in the opening quarter and the half ended with the Spartans leading 27-7.

The teams traded occasional baskets in the third quarter, which ended with Bainbridge ahead 35-15. An emphatic Eisenhardt dunk gave the Spartans their largest lead of the game at 43-18 just before the five-minute mark of the final quarter. Hale scored the last 11 points of the game to make the score somewhat respectable.

Eisenhardt led the team with 14 points and Burris added 12.

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